Derbyshire Women Celebrated at Chatsworth for International Women’s Day

© Chatsworth House Trust.

Join Chatsworth to celebrate International Women’s Day on 10th March as they showcase local Derbyshire women from a diverse range of backgrounds through their small businesses, art and services to the communities of Derbyshire.

Curated by the High Sheriff in Nomination 2023/24, Theresa Peltier, the day will feature a rolling series of talks and performance, including appearances from Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Mrs. Elizabeth Fothergill CBE; a performance from local singer songwriter Carol Fieldhouse; writer, poet and performer Seni Seneviratne; resident sculptor at Derbyshire Eco Centre, Sue Allanson; Gill Hart, Head of Learning and Engagement at Chatsworth; and Alice Martin, Head of Collections at Chatsworth.


The drop-in event hosted by Theresa – set to become Derbyshire’s first black High Sheriff in April, will be an opportunity to share stories and take part in inspiring discussions as well as hear performances by women from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Theresa Peltier said: “There are so many creative and innovative women doing so many wonderful things across Derbyshire and I thought it could be really inspiring to bring them together for International Women’s Day. It’s an informal drop-in event and a great opportunity to meet, encourage and talk to each other about our experiences and challenges. I want to encourage as many women as possible to come along – we’ve a really diverse group of people appearing at this event with some fascinating stories to tell.”

Portrait of Elizabeth (Bess of Hardwick), Countess of Shrewsbury (c1527-1608). © In the collection at Hardwick Hall, National Trust.

Theresa Peltier retired as the Head of Equality for Derbyshire Police in December 2019, having spent 27 years in policing. Her role enabled her to work with the Home Office, National Police Chief’s Council, Equality and Human Rights Commission, the College of Policing and national staff associations as well as becoming Vice-President of the National Black Police Association.

She continued: “I’m taking up my post from 5th April and I’m particularly proud to do so as Derbyshire’s first black High Sheriff in the year of the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush docking at Tilbury. I’ll be doing my best to shine a light on the achievements and contributions to our society made by women and other groups that are sometimes overlooked.

Lord Burlington, Chairman of the Chatsworth House Trust, said: “I’m delighted to support Theresa with this event to celebrate International Women’s Day. She has drawn on her extensive knowledge from her roles in policing, equality and human rights to bring together women and organisations from across Derbyshire to create what I know will be an inspiring day for all to enjoy.”

As well as celebrating the achievements of women running small businesses and providing charitable and other services to the communities of Derbyshire, there will be a number of projects relating to the Windrush Generation. The drop-in event will feature performances from singer songwriter Carol Fieldhouse and writer, poet and performer Seni Seneviratne; resident sculptor at Derbyshire Eco Centre, Sue Allanson; Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Mrs. Elizabeth Fothergill CBE and charities and organisations such as Women’s Work and Adoption East Midlands.

Running from 10.30am to 4pm in the Hartington and Burlington Rooms at the Stables, which are located the top of the main house car park, the event will feature displays and a rolling series of talks, discussions and performances by Derbyshire women including talks by Chatsworth staff exploring two women important to the Derbyshire estate’s history – Duchess Georgiana and Bess of Hardwick.

Lady Blanche, Lady Dorothy and Lady Rachel. © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.

Gill Hart, Head of Learning and Engagement, Chatsworth, will use visual/compositional analysis in her talk “Pieces of a Woman” to explore representations of Duchess Georgiana by male and female artists.

“What’s in a Name” – a talk by Alice Martin, Head of the Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth – will look at how the language and storytelling around Bess of Hardwick, a central player at the very heart of Chatsworth’s story, has changed and evolved over the centuries and what insights this might give to understanding her life and legacy.

For more information

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